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VHA Transitions to COVID-19 Future State by Implementing Health Protection Levels to Enhance Safety of Veterans, Visitors and Employees

PRESS RELEASE

May 24, 2022

Seattle , WA — Today, VA Puget Sound Health Care System is implementing COVID-19 Health Protection Levels as part VA’s consistent, nationwide approach for Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities to adjust COVID-19 safety protocols locally as needed.

The three VHA COVID-19 Health Protection Levels – low, medium, and high – align with CDC’s Community Transmission levels, which are based on new COVID cases and percentage of positive tests.

Starting today, VA Puget Sound is at level high. The VHA COVID-19 Health Protection Level will be updated as needed on Mondays.

“Our local Veterans are resolute about receiving their care at our facility and we want to keep them safe during the ups and downs of COVID-19 community spread,” said VA Puget Sound Acting Executive Director Dr. Catherine Kaminetzky. “Safety protocols will be adjusted based on COVID-19 levels in the community.”

Masks are required regardless of the level, but requirements for self-screening, visitation, and physical distancing vary:

High:

  1. Masks are required
  1. Screenings performed by staff at main patient entrances
  1. Care team-approved visitors only
  1. Physical distancing is required

Please visit VA Puget Sound’s website (www.va.gov/puget-sound-health-care/operating-status/) or call 1-800-329-8387 for current protection levels before your next visit. If patients or visitors are heading to a VA facility in another county, they should check with that health facility to determine the facility’s VHA COVID-19 Health Protection Level.

Visit www.va.gov/coronavirus-veteran-frequently-asked-questions/ for questions and answers regarding the VHA COVID-19 Health Protection Levels. For more information, please VA Puget Sound’s Public Affairs Office at publicaffairspugetsound@va.gov or 206-277-1711.

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to approximately 156,000 Veterans across the Pacific Northwest—approximately 120,000 are enrolled with a primary care team at one of its 10 care sites: two main campuses (American Lake and Seattle), six outpatient clinics (Edmonds, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup and Silverdale) and two Community Resource & Referral Centers (Georgetown in Seattle and Renton). As the VA’s 4th largest research program, VA Puget Sound has research in virtually every major clinical department, including: TBI and multiple blast exposures; memory improvement and Alzheimer's Disease; PTSD and deployment health; Parkinson’s Disease; diabetes; cancer; substance abuse; lower limb prosthetics; genomics; and Health Services. Additionally, it has seven nationally recognized Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). For more information visit www.va.gov/puget-sound-health-care or call 800-329-8387.  For Veterans in Crisis, please use the Veterans Crisis line at 800-273-8255 (press 1).

Media contacts

Tami Begasse, Public Affairs Officer

206-277-1711

publicaffairspugetsound@va.gov

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